Around 95% of all manufactured goods at one point in the supply chain are transported via a truck. This shows the dependency of industries on fleet services over a wide spectrum. In fact, in US alone, around 70 percent of all the freight is transported through trucks.
Handling so many trucks can be difficult for fleet managers. They face challenges in terms of transporting goods to the required place in a restricted time period while confirming the safety of the driver and the quality of the goods in order to make maximum possible revenue.
IoT based fleet management solutions allow a fleet operator to keep an eagle eye view on its trucks’ fleet. By using geofencing techniques and advanced telematics, he/she can at all times confirm the location of the trucks and make sure that the cargo being shipped in them is safe at all times.
By using IoT infused fleet management solutions a fleet operator can properly manage its drayage operations and utilize the capabilities of its fleet in an optimum manner. It helps fleet supervisors to thwart common challenges that they really face. Some of the challenges that IoT helps fleet managers to counter are:
Professional truck drivers are 10 times more likely to be killed and 9 times more likely to be injured than any other average worker. Moreover, from 2016 from 2017 fatal crashes involving:
- Large trucks increased by 9%.
- Combination trucks (truck with trailer) increased by 5.8%.
- Single-unit straight trucks increased by 18.7%.
Drivers’ driving habits play a crucial role to either be or not be a part of a serious accident. In fact, 94% of the truck-related accidents included driver-related factors like impaired driving, distraction, speeding, or illegal maneuvers. These factors make truck driving risky for not only truckers but also for other vehicles. 82% of victims in a truck accident were not even remotely related to trucks at all.
Monitoring driving habits is therefore important for a fleet manager to ensure the safety of not only truck drivers but also of other vehicle users. Sensors embedded in the trucks can monitor the driving patterns of the drivers and transfer them to a fleet manager. The manager can hence call the driver to slow down if he/she is speeding unnecessarily.
The fleet supervisor can also monitor the rest breaks taken by the driver to make sure that the driver is not under any kind of fatigue that can further result in a severe accident.
Fleet managers are solely responsible for timely cargo delivery. Traffic jams are hence a big problem for managers as it adversely affects the transportation of goods. In fact, according to a survey, truck congestion annually can waste as much as 28 billion USD in terms of time and fuel.
Truck drivers take breaks while they drive trucks to vast distances. Even though subsequent rests are important for drivers to get rid of the fatigue developed due to nonstop driving the truck, frequent and prolonged rest periods can affect cargo delivery operations.
IoT based fleet management allow fleet operators to keep track of the road conditions, weather forecasts, and traffic congestion. By monitoring these parameters, a fleet manager can choose the shortest and less time-consuming path to make sure that the shipment is delivered before the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival). Spatial geofencing techniques also allow a fleet supervisor to mark locations that the drivers must avoid to prevent being stuck in probable congested locations.
Fuel is a major cost for any company that operates a fleet of trucks. It accounts for more than 35% of costs for a large fleet handling organization and forecasting its fluctuating price can be difficult. It is hence essential for a fleet manager to make sure that the mileage of its trucks is high and that fuel wastage is as low as possible.
Fuel in trucks can be wasted due to the use of less efficient parts, unnecessary idling, speeding, theft, frauds, and even harsh braking. Idling is the main reason that wastes fuel unnecessarily. Fuel monitoring sensors embedded in the fuel tanks of the trucks continuously measure the amount of fuel being consumed.
These sensors can monitor the sudden decrease in the fuel levels and can alert the fleet supervisor about probable theft or fraud. Sensors fitted in the dashboard of the truck can be used to measure the speed, acceleration, deceleration, and idling time of the truck. The fleet operator can hence monitor the data gathered from these sensors and contact the driver if he/she is driving recklessly resulting in fuel wastage.
According to a survey, 28% of truckers experience unfair pay and 29% of truckers were not paid at all while dealing with brokers. IoT based smart contract solution along with fleet management solution allows payment of the shipment each and every time after the cargo is delivered.
Different sensors present in the trailer of the trucks measure the parameters associated with the quality of the cargo being shipped. The contract between the buyer and the supplier is terminated, if at any stage of cargo transportation, the parameters cross the threshold limits set in the smart contracts.
However, if all things go according to the deal made by both parties, the payment is automatically transferred from the buyer account to the supplier account. This ensures fair flow of money and quality delivery of the cargo.
Fleet Trucks’ Maintenance:
Trucks travel a lot. According to a 2017 study, trucks transported around $10.8 billion tons of freight in the US alone. In one such big journey, an unexpected component breakdown or sudden engine malfunction can be troublesome for drivers as well as the fleet operators. To understand the adversity of this problem, consider the fact that the loss in tire pressure can cost 3% of the trucks’ mileage.
More performance issues in the trucks can affect delivery operations and force the fleet manager to cancel the shipment. Moreover, fixing broke down parts in a truck can sometimes take a lot of time, affecting the delivery of the cargo.
Predictive analytics capabilities of IoT can foretell truck malfunction in advance, giving ample time to the driver to change the part at the nearest repair shop and the managers to reschedule the ETA. This helps the manager to make sure that the goods are delivered within set time limits.
Fleet managers face several challenges in terms of high fuel wastage, traffic congestion, truck maintenance, and unfair payments while also ensuring the safety of the drivers. An IoT fleet management solution can help a fleet manager to improve the fuel efficiency of its trucks by 6%. This roughly amounts to an annual fuel savings of worth $15 million!
The impact of IoT in fleet management can simply not be underrated. It is completely changing the concept of managing shipment operations and is providing fleet supervisors the power to control its fleet from remote locations.